The CNN executive who participated in a long-term relationship with former network president Jeff Zucker has resigned after CNN announced she, Zucker and former high-profile anchor Chris Cuomo had all run afoul of company rules.
The forced departure of Allison Gollust, who was CNN’s head of marketing, was announced Tuesday by Jason Kilar, the head of WarnerMedia, according to the New York Post. WarnerMedia is CNN’s parent company.
Kilar said an investigation by a third-party law firm that was launched to examine “issues associated with Chris Cuomo and former Governor Andrew Cuomo” of New York ended up focusing on Zucker and Gollust as well.
“Based on interviews of more than 40 individuals and a review of over 100,000 texts and emails, the investigation found violations of Company policies, including CNN’s News Standards and Practices, by Jeff Zucker, Allison Gollust, and Chris Cuomo,” Kilar wrote in the memo.
Allison Gollust, CNN’s chief marketing officer, resigned Tuesday following the conclusion of an investigation that incriminated her, former CNN President Jeff Zucker, and former CNN host Chris Cuomo. ? pic.twitter.com/xEkZYRZqKb
— ??BellaLovesUSA? (@Bellamari8mazz) February 16, 2022
He said the investigation began in September and ended last week.
“I realize this news is troubling, disappointing, and frankly, painful to read. These are valid feelings many of you have,” Kilar wrote.
Brand new memo from Jason Kilar: “The investigation found violations of Company policies, including CNN’s News Standards and Practices, by Jeff Zucker, Allison Gollust, and Chris Cuomo.” pic.twitter.com/Xu1HQJw9cT
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) February 16, 2022
Gollust fired back as she left, according to CNN.
“WarnerMedia’s statement tonight is an attempt to retaliate against me and change the media narrative in the wake of their disastrous handling of the last two weeks,” she said in a statement.
“It is deeply disappointing that after spending the past nine years defending and upholding CNN’s highest standards of journalistic integrity, I would be treated this way as I leave,” Gollust said. “But I do so with my head held high, knowing that I gave my heart and soul to working with the finest journalists in the world.”
A comment reported by The Wall Street Journal hinted that there was an iceberg’s worth of subplots below the surface.
It quoted a Chris Cuomo spokesman as saying Zucker’s departure was “never about an undisclosed relationship.”
“As Mr. Cuomo has stated previously, Mr. Zucker and Ms. Gollust were not only entirely aware but fully supportive of what he was doing to help his brother,” the spokesman said.“The still open question is when WarnerMedia is going to release the results of its investigation and explain its supposed basis for terminating Mr. Cuomo.”
Our NYT deep-dive into the ousters of Chris Cuomo and Jeff Zucker at CNN, updated with the latest news that WarnerMedia has uncovered journalistic lapses by Zucker and Allison Gollust. https://t.co/wSoibzU8Mz
— Michael M. Grynbaum (@grynbaum) February 16, 2022
Chris Cuomo was fired in early December by Zucker, ostensibly because of his involvement with the political defense his brother was waging to remain governor amid multiple scandals and an accusation of sexual misconduct leveled against Chris Cuomo. Since then, he has been fighting CNN for what he believes he is owed in severance pay.
The Times reported that in the acrimonious aftermath of Chris Cuomo’s firing, Cuomo’s team was seeking to prove that Zucker had also crossed the line by giving Andrew Cuomo tips on handling his media events.
Zucker’s camp has rejected the claim as false.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.